Recognizing the Early Signs of Gingivitis

At Ward Periodontics, we specialize in the treatment of gingivitis and gum disease and are always happy to discuss the basics of gum disease. We’ll help you to understand how to recognize the early signs of gingivitis and ensure you get the help you need before your gum disease progresses and causes irreversible damage to your mouth.

What Is Gingivitis? Understanding the First Stage of Gum Disease

Gingivitis refers to the initial stage of gum disease. In this stage, the gums have become inflamed and tender due to infection by oral bacteria. However, no permanent damage has been done to your gums or the support structures of your mouth yes.

With proper at-home oral care and periodontal treatments like deep cleanings (scaling & root planing) and antibiotics, gingivitis can be completely reversed and eliminated. If you do not get help in time, it will progress into the second stage of gum disease, which can never be completely eliminated. This is why it’s so important to get immediate care if you recognize the early signs of gingivitis.

What Are the Early Signs of Gingivitis? How Do I Know If I Have It?

There are a few key signs that you should be on the lookout for if you believe you may have gingivitis. They are as follows:


  • Discolored gums – Your gums may look red or dark red, or even purplish. They will look particularly discolored near the base of the tooth, where the enamel meets your gum tissue
  • Inflammation and swelling – If you have gingivitis, your gums will likely look more puffy and inflamed, compared to healthy gums. They may also feel “spongy” to the touch due to inflammation.
  • Gum tenderness – Your gums may be inflamed and feel tender and painful to the touch.
  • Halitosis (bad breath) – The bacteria that cause gum disease can cause your breath to smell bad. If you can’t seem to get rid of bad breath, you may have gum disease.
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing – Even if your mouth is healthy, your gums can bleed if you brush them too vigorously and with too much pressure. And if you don’t floss often, they may bleed a bit when you resume flossing regularly. This is normal.
    However, if your gums are bleeding freely and profusely when you brush them normally with gentle pressure, or your gums bleed a lot whenever you floss, even after you’ve maintained a consistent flossing routine, you may have gingivitis.


If you recognize one or more of the above symptoms, it’s very likely that you have gingivitis. It is important to get help right away to ensure you can reverse the disease and restore your mouth to health. 

Contact Ward Periodontics Now – Get the Periodontal Care You Need!

If you think that you may have gingivitis and are located in Overland Park, it’s essential for you to get the help you need without delay. Dr. Audra Ward can examine your mouth and determine which treatments may be right for you. 

With timely intervention, you can restore your gums, eliminate gingivitis and protect your oral health. Contact us now at (913) 563-7400 to make an appointment, or stop by our office at 12701 Metcalf Ave., Suite 200, Overland Park, Kansas 66213.